The Child Welfare Project seeks to cater for the many poor widows and orphans in Northern Kenya by ensuring they are economically empowered, the children are protected and educated. Under this project, IRK has initiated three programme activities namely; Orphan one to one orphan sponsorship, Child Protection & Education.
Orphan One To One Sponsorship
Orphan One-to-one is a noble project that has really helped many poor widows and orphans realize their potential by supplementing their incomes and live decent lives. The programme aims to reduce the suffering of the most vulnerable orphans and widows through cash disbursement to address the problems of shelter, housing, education and welfare.
The programme has been running in Mandera Kenya from 1993 and recently (2011), in Garissa, Kenya. In total, more than 1168 orphans have been reached by Orphan One-to-One since its inception. Out of these, over 100 have graduated from the programme either by age, death, marriage or movement out of our project areas.
Currently we have 1068 orphans sponsored and 251 awaiting sponsorship. In the year 2011,the programme sponsored close to 500 orphans.
Apart from the disbursements of funds, the programme also links up with the District Children’s Department to refer children in need of special care and protection such as those who have experienced FGM or are running away from forced/early marriage. This said, the child welfare dept are active members of the Area Advisor Council meetings that are chaired by the various District commissioners.
The project also regularly attends the national and regional child protection clusters that are important in supporting partners to adhere to international and national standards on child protection. These forums also roll out various capacity building initiatives for partners to implement their projects in accordance to best practices.
Recently, the child welfare department is implementing an Early Childhood Development Education project in Dadaab Refugee Camp, in Ifo II East. The project is co funded by UNHCR and IR/USA. The project aims at increasing access to formal education for 1000 children within the refugee community. This will be accomplished by working with the communities to enhance the quality of the informal (Duksi) schools.